Friday, October 02, 2009

First days in Bozeman

A mountain goat on Highline Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana
Copyright (c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp


It's 1130 at night and I'm going to try to give a quick update without saying too much because I need a good night's sleep, and want to get up relatively early to write write write some more! I'm here in Bozeman, Montana at my dear friend Elissa's for the next 2 and a half weeks, cloistering myself away from the daily responsibilities of life to write a couple chapters of my book - God help me! Just wanted to share a few quick experiences so far, as I love my adventures, and I love sharing them! This is my second trip to Bozeman. The first time Matt and I were on a drive back from Alaska, moving to Texas. That was 1997. We stayed in a hotel and visited Elissa only briefly before stopping by Yellowstone and then to our new home. This time I'm staying in the downstairs of Elissa and her husband Ben's awesome home in the massive college town, population... 30,000. She think it's getting too big....

I have the whole downstairs to myself, with a bedroom, bathroom, office, kitchen and living room. Upstairs is their regular home, and today I got to use the awesome jacuzzi tub in her recently remodeled bathroom! There's wifi here, so I have everything I need to work, write, focus. As I mentioned before, she and Ben run a nursery in town so normally she'd be at work but she has had some shoulder pain and has been staying home. I've spent the last day and a half going over the chapters I've written thus far, outlining and determing what I've alreday said, and what I still need to say. I've just started outlining some of what will go in the new chapters. In the best of all worlds I'd get sooo much writing done I'll be just thrilled. Some moments I think I can do it, and other moments I get frustrated at how long the overview/review is taking me.

Elissa is an amazing cook! She follows something called the Paleo Diet which includes a lot of meat and veggies, some fruit but very little dairy, no grains or potatoes, and no sugar. I decided to try to follow while here. Instead of mass produced meat she eats a lot of game meat (she has a whole bison in her freezer!) or naturally grown organic meats (Speaking of mass produced meats, we watched the documentary Food, Inc tonight which I'll talk more about later...). Elissa has a huge garden so a lot of veggies and herbs are grown right in her backyard and the others she buys at the co-op down the street and elsewhere. And guess what? Yesterday I awoke to SNOW!! We had to rush to cover up her herbs and veggies because she hadn't yet harvested them yet. Today, she was cutting up all the herbs and plans to make various pestos - traditional pesto, tarragon pesto, mint-almond pesto, etc.

Wow! I'm so impressed with everything she does!! And the food - which I will provide photos of soon - is out of this world! So flavorful and delicious!! Yesterday for dinner we had blackened salmon with cucumber-mint sauce - and broccoli and salad. Today for dinner we had chicken breast (organic free-range) with chile sauce in roasted yellow peppers, with a bed of cabbage and sliced nectarines on the side.

Anyway I wanted to share a few pics I took on my blackberry. They're nothing special but just to give an idea... more will come soon!

You know a town is cool when you're greeted by a T.Rex sculpture at the airport!

And then, a sculpture of a bear... which says "Guardian spirit." I like to say the bear's my totem because when I did a guided visualization to determine my guardian spirit, child spirit and something else the bear came to me. And I see a bear in just about every national park I've been to.

Me & Elissa - lifelong friends! We lived next door in 7th grade in Beaverton Oregon.

Elisa's yard is xeriscaping at its best - no grass!

The "menu" from the previous week on the wall. Little did I know I've come to my own private resort I think! It reads: Bison roast with hot pepper sauce and salad. Skinless goyozas (a meatball) with carrots, cukes, lettuce. Tilapia wrapped with herb pesto, and beets.

She makes herb-infused olive oil and infused vodkas.

A snapshot of the snow covering the garden. It melted today but I'm sure to see more while I'm here! It's been pretty chilly.

2 comments:

Sus said...

Sounds like a great place to refresh your mind & soul. Pray tell, what exactly is "infused vodka?"

WENDEE HOLTCAMP said...

It's just flavored with herbs, veggies, fruit, whatever!